Garden Asia Asia's Premier Gardening Magazine
Wednesday, 08 April 2020
Your Garden Supplies
Volume 9
Cover Story

The Foliage Aroids


ImageIn the previous issue of Garden Asia a comprehensive introduction to the aroid family was written with various examples of interesting aroids. In this issue we will focus on the exotic foliage species. Foliage plants are basically those which are cultivated chiefly for their decorative leaves and often their flowers or inflorescences are intermittently produced or they are visually insignificant.

Generally, aroids are known to be shade loving plants requiring various amounts of shade but some cultivars can withstand strong sunlight without direct sun. Those that can grow well under full or partial sunlight will be suitable for balcony landscapes. However, they need high humidity and soils which are well drained and rich in humus. The shade tolerant aroids are suitable subjects for ground cover under the shade of taller plants or trees, shaded areas, indoor decorations as well as patios, verandas and near shaded water features.

When foliage plants are used for indoor decoration in deep shade or air conditioning, they need to be taken outdoors regularly to maintain their vigorous growth.A large proportion of aroids have decorative leaves producing a wide range of leaf patterning with various combinations of variegation, colour and shape. Among the most popular ones are the caladiums.

Feature Garden

A Malaysian Garden


ImageWhat are the features of a Malaysian garden? This question occasionally comes up when we discuss garden design. Coffee Table books on tropical garden and gardening such as The Tropical garden by William Warren and Tropical Garden Designs by Made Wijaya studies beautiful tropical gardens in Indonesia, Thailand and Phillipines in South-East Asia and others in Sri Lanka as well as Hawaii. There was little mention of any gardens in Malaysia. Gardening in Malaysia does not have a long history. When we were Malaya, there was the colonial population who concentrated mainly on the discovery of plants and introduction of plants from other tropical regions to be tried and tested here. Since the native plants are mainly jungle plants, which do not thrive well in the open area, gardens of our forefathers are limited to a few fruit trees and some common ornamentals such as the dracaenas and codiums.

Garden Gallery

Singapore Botanic Garden


ImageThis year the International Foundation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) held their 38th World Congress in Singapore. Being one of the speakers, I took the opportunity to join the Technical Tours, which cover the Singapore Botanic Gardens, the historical Fort Canning Park, the island resort Sentosa and the world’s first and only night zoo, the Night Safari by the Singapore Zoological Gardens. My seven days stay wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t visit the entertainment centre, i.e. Boat Quay along Singapore River, Bugis Street and Orchard Road.

The exploration began at the Visitor Centre, opened in 1998. The Centre was designed to blend into the landscape shaded by an enormous rain tree. Here, we were briefly informed with the historical background of the garden. According to the tour guide, Sir Stamford Raffles established the first Botanical Garden in Singapore in 1822 at Fort Canning. The Garden’s major task was to evaluate for cultivation, crops which were of potential economic importance. However, in 1829, this Garden was closed and it was not until thirty years later that the present Singapore Botanic Gardens was founded by an agri-horicultural society. Later it was handed over to the government for maintenance and nowadays is looked after by the National Parks Board. The Singapore Botanic Gardens have been developed along a three-core concept. The three cores are Tanglin, which is the heritage core retaining the old favourites and charms of the historic Gardens; Central, which is the tourist belt of the Gardens; Bukit Timah, which is the educational and recreational zone.

Young Gardener

Animals of Our Garden


ImageWe are all familiar about the problems of deforestation and also the constant need for exotic and common wood for furniture and paper. In the last issue, I wrote on the uses and importance of trees. In this issue, I thought I would focus on the effect deforestation had on its inhabitants. Due to this problem of rapid development, many of these beautiful animals lose their habitats and some are almost pushed to extinction. Species like the tapir, the orang utan, different rare and exotic species of reptiles and not to mention the countless types of insects are forced to the brink of extinction Do you know that Malaysia is one of the few countries that hold the rarest insects in the world and half of these species is still not discovered yet! It is a shame if we lose these marvellous creatures without knowing it.

Garden Science

Management of Grass in Landscape & Lawns


ImageWhether we realize it or not, grasses may occupy the largest portion of an area in many landscape develop-ment undertaking. Planned carefully, grasses in lawn or garden could play a very important role both as biological and physical agents as well as in improving the aesthetic value in any landscape development. With good management, turfgrasses will serve as a living green carpet. Other landscape elements, whether hard-or soft elements will appear outstanding when combined with good quality turf. Can you imagine how a garden chair or a profusely flowering shrub will look like without grass surrounding them.

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